IHG last week launched its refreshed IHG One Rewards guest loyalty program that replaced the IHG Rewards.
The enhanced program delivers better and, hopefully, more consistent benefits for IHG One Rewards program elites, of which one are suite upgrades for Platinum and Diamond members.
You can access IHG One Rewards here.
READ MORE: IHG One Rewards Rate & Bonus Points Offers
Hilton Honors rolled out global automated upgrades last year, and it is common to receive emails confirming upgrades before your stay (up to four days):
I already wanted to try to new Kimpton Maa-Lai in Bangkok last year but didn’t until yesterday. So I made a reservation the day before and was surprised to receive an email confirming the upgrade.
The initial upgrade was only for a King View room that was upgraded to a Maa-Lai suite when I arrived at the hotel.
The check-in was excellent, and the person, previously at St. Regis, referred to the Diamond status and benefits several times. I am not sure about the state of the breakfast because the booked rate included one.
Video of The Maa-Lai Suite:
What IHG has communicated to hotels:
Additionally, we are investing in training, technology and enhanced tracking to improve delivery and communication of existing benefits, such as Complimentary Upgrades (subject to availability) for Platinum Elite and Diamond Elite members.
Hotel teams should make every effort to upgrade these members to suites if available, before their arrival. If a hotel does not have suites, the member should be upgraded to another premium room type (e.g. higher floor, corner room, preferred views).
Once upgraded, the member should be notified of the upgrade via a Pre-Arrival Upgrade Notification email, and upon arrival the front desk agent should communicate that the member was upgraded due to his or her loyalty and highlight the unique room features.
IHG has stressed to hotels that Platinum and Diamond members should be upgraded to suites, and they will track how well this is handled at the property level.
IHG One Rewards Launch:
IHG Launches IHG One Rewards With Breakfast, Suite Upgrades & Lounge Access
Already some confusion with the status expiry:
IHG One Rewards Status Expiry Confusion?
As I said in the initial IHG One Rewards piece, the changes that IHG has/is rolling out make the program again competitive (I have avoided staying at IHG hotels due to lack of elite benefits).
Like with all other loyalty programs, it all boils down to how well properties are buying these changes and how well they implement them.
In the case of this Kimpton hotel in Bangkok, they greatly exceeded my expectations.
Sebastian has stayed at this property previously (not sure if more than once), and they have been rather tricky for upgrading elite members to anything resembling a suite. Their standard rooms are rather spacious, though.
Have you received these prestay upgrade emails from IHG?